Chisel Tray-Part 2 

Dang, it has been hot!  I about half expect to see an elephant or Masai tribesman stroll past the shop window at any moment.  At some point it will be over and I’ll be complaining about the cold.  Of that you can be sure.  I have a plan though…more on that later.  For now I cope and work in the shop for short stretches as best I can.

This is how the week played out.  Progress at 15 minute intervals.  My goal this week was to complete the base and interior layout for the chisel tray.  All the base required was a bottom and I made this from 6mm birch ply.  It was cut slightly large, then glued and pegged into place.  The addition of pegs was probably overkill, but the last thing I want is the bottom falling off.  Then I flushed the edges of the bottom to the sides.



Now that I had a completed tray it was time to turn my attention to the interior layout.  My initial paper layout was mostly to ensure that I would have more than enough room for my current set of chisels, plus a little room to grow.  Now it was time to refine the interior layout to cram as much into it as possible.


I started with my longest chisels, the two mortise chisels.  Well, the paring chisels are the longest, but those I will store differently in a section all of their own.  The length of the mortise chisels sets the position of the transverse divider.


Then the bench chisels.


Then the specialty chisels.  Dang, the fishtail chisel is longer than I thought.  So I tapered the transverse divider.  The large spacer between the bench chisels and the fishtail chisel is friction fit only.  This will leave me a little room to grow if need be.


Now I have a couple of cubbies for my stamping tools, pencil and sumisashi…


…and a place for my squares.


The remaining space holds my paring chisels and my hammer.


I worked the interior up with a combination of spacers and blocks so that everything is self wedging with the exception of the skinny end of the transverse divider.  It is held in place with two glue blocks.  The only bit of joinery on the interior bits is where I joined the long thin divider at the base of the bench chisels to the perpendicular divider that separates the mortise chisels from the bench chisels.  I had a bit of a blowout, but it is plenty stout for purpose.


Like I said, all of the interior bits self-wedge into place, but a bit of glue couldn’t hurt.  So I fired up the little glue pot, mixed up a tablespoon of hide glue and waited for it to heat up.   I’m really liking the hot hide glue.  The fast tack makes assemblies like this one a breeze.

All I need now is to add the end pieces and fabricate a sliding lid.

One last photo, just because I thought it looked cool.


Part 1 Greg Merritt

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When I started this blog I made a conscious decision to talk about tools as little as possible.  There are enough people, far more knowledgable than I, who are talking about tools.  I’ve always wanted the focus to be on the woodworking.  The tools that I use or that you use, are immaterial.  As long as they are sharp, they work.  That being said, I’m going to break my self-imposed policy.  Mostly because this blog serves as my woodworking journal, but also to give those of you who read it an idea of what in the hell I’m doing. Continue reading

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Chisel Tray-Part 1

Well, it’s not quite as hot, but the humidity is still hanging on.  An hour at a stretch is about all I can take.  I know what the next project will be, but I’m struggling with the design.  So I’ve been looking over the shop and evaluating my current setup.  It has been just about a year since I moved into the new shop and I’ve built a few projects in it.  So a review of what is working and what is not is in order. Continue reading

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Incense Burner Stand-Part 2-Complete

Not a whole lot to add to the story here.  I simply added a coat of Tried and True Original to the stand as per the instructions on the can.  That’s about all there is to it.  I’ll add a maintenance coat in a few months or so.



This is a super simple little project.  The frame is decorative only and has no structural value.  With the feet inset and attached directly to the underside of the panel, any weight on the stand is born directly by the panel and feet.  I’m using this stand for my incense burner, but it could be pressed into service for just about anything.  The size and shape can be altered to meet the need.  Plus it’s a great way to use up some scraps!

Part 1 Greg Merritt

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Incense Burner Stand-Part 1

Our sense of smell is a powerful thing.  Pleasant smells have the power to alter our mood.  Some smells bring back memories.  I’ve even read that the smell of fresh baked cookies can help to sell a house.  Unpleasant odors can be just as powerful.  I’ll not go into examples, I’m sure you know what I mean. Continue reading

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Seizing Inspiration when it Presents

I make things.   Not to earn a living.  Not because I have to.  I make things because I want to and to satisfy a deep-seated desire to create.  I tend to make things that have a practical use, it is just my nature.  In fact, I find it very difficult to create something solely for artistic value.  Sure, I tend to add “artistic” touches to the things that I make, but decorative embellishment is quite different than art for art’s sake. Continue reading

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Tenugui Hanger Revisit

tenugui_holder-000The weather here has been unbearable. Several days in a row the heat index went over 100F.  Having temperatures in the 90’s is tough but doable.  However, when you factor in humidity levels in the high 60% to above 70%, conditions are just too much for working in an unconditioned space.  So not much has been happening here on the woodworking front.  I have fought the good fight though.  Working for 15-20 minutes right after work just to get my fix in.  This limited time means that the project has to be simple. Continue reading

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